Pigs Eye Brunch
Aug 17th, 2008 by Mike

Several weeks ago, I was walking Reggie when we bumped into a woman walking a Maltese named Max. The woman’s name was Jenny, and she told me that she owned the restaurant called “In a Pigs Eye” on Derby Street. I’d eaten there a few times and never had a bad meal. As we got talking, she told me that for Sunday brunch, they make a really good sirloin hash. I promised I’d stop in some day and try this hash.

The next weekend, I grabbed my neighbor Jason and headed there for brunch about 10:00. The problem is that they don’t open until 11:00 on Sundays. We missed out on brunch that day.

Today, I was up and hungry at the right time to head to In a Pigs Eye for brunch. I went in and ordered the french toast with a side of the sirloin hash and a bloody mary.

Salem, Aug 17, 2008

The iPhone picture does my meal very little justice. The french toast was made with a Challah-like bread that had cinnamon swirls through it. True to Jenny’s word, the sirloin hash was exceptional. It had bits of potato and sirloin. Wow. The bloody mary was spicy and perfect.

I eat dinner there a couple times a month because it’s convenient and the food is good. I think that I’ll be going there for Sunday brunch a bit more frequently.

Aug 16th, 2008 by Mike

I was having lunch yesterday with my coworkers (a Friday thing) at the Bugaboo Creek Cafe in Burlington. They were telling me about the “moose juice” they have, which is a pineapple infused vodka that’s supposed to be really good.

I wasn’t impressed by the concept as they seemed to be. After all, it’s just an infusion using vodka and fresh fruit, which should be easy to make. I took on the challenge and said I’d make some to prove this. While at it, I decided to do some with lime peal as well to do a lime vodka. That should be perfect for making cosmos.


Tre Cool
Feb 26th, 2008 by Mike

Did anybody see this week’s Iron Chef America? I’m just catching it on the DVR now.

The challengers’ sous chef is Tre Wilcox, who was a contestant on the last season of Top Chef.

Another Soup
Feb 13th, 2008 by Mike

I put together another soup tonight. I used two potatoes, two leeks, an onion, half a bag of carrots, a head of cauliflower, and some parsley. All of this got chopped up, tossed with some canola and olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roasted. Then it went into the magic bullet with some simmering vegetable stock.

This was absolutely amazing, and I’ve got enough for four meals. It’s all vegetables and all flavor. The potatoes give it a creamy texture that would make you think it had cream in it.

I must repeat this one.

Roasted Tomato Soup
Jan 11th, 2008 by Mike

I was in the grocery store tonight, and they had some good tomatoes. Actually, the basil hit me first.

I chopped up a yellow bell pepper, an orange bell pepper, an onion, and a whole bunch of tomatoes. This got tossed with some olive oil, a bit of canola oil, a little bit of chopped basil, and a whole bunch of salt and pepper. This went into the oven for about 40 minutes. Normally, I’d hit this with my immersion blender, but it died.

For Christmas, my sister bought me a Magic Bullet like you see on TV. I thought it was dumb, but it was great for this soup. I’d throw a bunch of of roasted veggies into the jar with a few fresh basil leaves, throw on the chopping lid and let it go. It really worked well.

So now I have three meals worth of soup for later. Two of them went into the freezer.

T’Giving Plans
Nov 18th, 2007 by Mike

I talked to my mom today and told her I was going to do pumpkin creme bruelee and pumpkin ice cream for Thanksgiving. She said that she’d also have to do something chocolate since her brother won’t eat pumpkin and they always make something chocolate for him. My first thought was that he could bring his own dessert, but I held my tongue for once.

Instead, I’m going to push the versatility of my this custard. If I add some lemon zest and/or lemon extract instead of pumpkin, it’ll make for a lemon creme brulee. Or, with a little chocolate liquor, cocoa powder, and a hint of coffee, we’ll have a good chocolate creme brulee. Regardless, I will have my pumpkin ice cream.

Maybe it’s time to try Nigella’s Chocohotpots.  I have to confess that this was Beth’s initial suggestion. I’ve been wanting to try these for a while. This might be the time.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
Nov 17th, 2007 by Mike

I had fun making the pumpkin creme bruelee. I had quite a bit of uncooked custard left, so I threw it in the fridge the idea of making ice cream out of it later. When you think about it, they’re both pretty much the same thing, just prepared differently.

The ice cream came out really well. It just needed a hint of vanilla, though, something I had neglected to put into the custard.

These are definitely things to put into my Thanksgiving arsenal.

Flame On!
Nov 11th, 2007 by Mike

I bought a new kitchen toy today, a blow torch!

Well, it was part of a creme brulee kit, but it’ll do. It’s a cute little kitchen torch that will suit my needs rather well.

Now I have some creme brulees in the oven. Lets see how these work out.

Nov 11th, 2007 by Mike

One of the challenges of travel is coming home to an empty refrigerator. The only thing in my fridge that was worthy of consumption was some diet coke and some Parmesan cheese. So last night on my trip to Trader Joes, I picked up a few things, keeping in mind that I’m leaving for Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.

One of the things I picked up was a bag of focaccia rolls. I was inspired to use them this morning while watching Michael Chiarello make croutons. I sliced up one of the rolls into 1/2” slices. Then I drizzled some olive oil on them, sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper, and then hit them with the last of the Parmesan cheese that was in my fridge. These went into the oven for about ten minutes, just until the cheese had melted and the focacia was lightly toasted. It was delicious.

This gets me thinking that I might want to do something like this for Christmas eve. My sister and I are always trying to one-up each other with food. These crustini are incredible. The question is WHAT to serve with it? I’m wondering how to work horseradish into this.

Mesa Grill
Nov 9th, 2007 by Mike

I have to go back to New York in early December. The Monday night I get there, I have reservations for dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. My niece is going to be jealous, even though she does say he looks like a monkey.

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